Voices of Athena with Priscilla Brenenstuhl

Finding Balance with Coco Brown

Athena’s Founder & CEO, Coco Brown, is compelled to change not just the way business operates, but the way the world operates as well. Tune in to hear how she’s been dismantling outdated structures since her youth.

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Voices of Athena

Sit down with the highly accomplished members of Athena Alliance, an executive learning community for women leaders, to hear the personal tales behind their professional success. We learn the real story behind their inspiring executive careers — their fears, their failures, and what song they’re singing at karaoke. You don’t get to the top without creating some memorable stories along the way.

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Finding Balance with Coco Brown

coco brown

Coco Brown
I’m somebody who wants to see the world operate the way I believe it should. I mean, I think a lot of us do, but I’m compelled to try to make it operate the way I feel like it should.

MUSIC INSERT

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
You are tuned in to Voices of Athena, a podcast highlighting the more personal side of the successful women that make up the Athena Alliance, a learning community for executive women. I’m your host, Priscilla Brenenstuhl and today we hear from our founder and CEO, Coco Brown, as she shares some of her vision for this community and the business community at large.

This feels like a full-circle moment. You’re the one making this possible. And so having you on is like thank you for being here.

Coco Brown
Yeah, Thank you.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Coco who is someone that inspires you?

Coco
My kids inspire me. They inspire me because well, actually from the very early days when they first really started illustrating their own personalities and their own people, you know, no longer quite babies. I’m not exactly sure what that point in time was. But they have both always been way older than I expected them to be, I suppose, you know, just so wise and sharp in the world and capable of seeing things much more deeply than I think people give credit to younger generations in general. It doesn’t matter. You know, like, it doesn’t matter like when you’re the generation below you, I think you’re always sort of taught to feel is less. Less informed, less, wise, less sort of savvy to the world, and yet, at least I found with my kids, that that’s not true. You know, there’s so they’ve got so much at their fingertips from a very, very early age that they that they can explore the world at such a wide, deep level and my kids always have, they’ve travelled a lot too and they’ve been in a very open minded family structure, and they’ve just made a lot of advantage taken a lot of advantage of that they’re now 20 and 17. So

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
I I love that answer. And but I will say that, reflecting on what you said, we know that I know you to be a very open minded mother and to treat them with respect. Just from the kind of casual side conversations that we’ve had and respecting them as fully formed. Individuals have their own, you know, not Coco’s. And I feel like probably a part of them. I don’t know, chicken or egg question, but I definitely feel like you probably treated them as if they were older. As well, in that way that you perspective to not devalue them because of their youth.

Coco Brown
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, I was I was definitely, you know, I think every generation sort of improves upon the generation prior. I hope but, you know, one of the things that I think I did get given to me was a big broad view of the world, because my parents took us all over the place. And we’re very unconventional people and, and then also just a general sentiment that we could talk about anything as long as my argument was good. Anything was open for conversation as long as the argument was good

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
That’s so hard to when your kids argument is always good. I have a five soon to be six year old and his argument is like, somehow always better than mine. He’s a level up already and oh, man, I met my math here.

Coco Brown
Well it does. It does mean that you don’t you don’t get to say because I told you so you don’t get to say because I’m the parent. You don’t get to say like you don’t get to say these things like you have to engage.

Priscilla
Yeah, you can’t be lazy,

Coco
Yeah, you can’t be lazy, if that’s what you’ve determined, right? Like that was kind of what was given to me and so that’s what I give and then the other thing is, is that like, for me, a fundamental issue is lying, like I do not want to be lied to. And I can go to extremes on that. My dad had once said, you know, well, if you’re home and you don’t pick up the phone, that’s a lie. I’m like, wow, you know, it’s like a lie of omission. Right. And so, you know, I, I’ve always said to the kids, you know, we can talk about anything we can deal with anything, just don’t lie to me. And I remember a moment with my mom even when she was telling me that I wasn’t I was a teenager and she was like you know, I don’t want you to go out and you can’t go to that party and drink or whatever. And she’s like, but I never want you to, you know, I always want you to tell me the truth. I’m like, well, which is it? Do you want the truth or do you want to control me? That’s the thing is like, if you if you want the truth, you lose control. You know, you handle the truth. Yeah, you’ve got to be able to handle the truth. So anyway, so all these sorts of complications and just the way I think about my own life, I think, in your chicken and egg question it has helped a lot with our relationship that our you know, Scott and I’s relationship with the kids is that they we operate and always have as if they’re on an equal plane to us.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Yeah, I love that. And I strive to do that with my child as well. It’s not always easy. It can be really exhausting. Hey, but your whole self into relationships.

Coco
Because there are times when you know more than they do.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Trust me on this one, okay. I’ll you

Coco
know, you got to keep exploring it because maybe you’re wrong.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Yeah. Also and allowing them to make their own mistakes, because we all know that saying, you’ve got to make your own mistakes. Yeah, it’s really good to sit by and watch when it’s somebody that you love. So,

Coco
exactly. Yeah, some of the best learning comes through your own mistakes, not other people’s.

MUSIC INSERT Neon Beach (:12-:30)

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
what song are you singing at karaoke?

Coco
Well, and I have I have some Islands in the Stream.

cheesiest songs, like Islands in the Stream and Tiny Dancer you know those kinds of songs? That’s what that’s what I, or like any Eagle song. I pretty much know the lyrics to Eagle songs like you test me on Hotel California. I know all the lyrics. Or Desperado. I know all the lyrics.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
I want us to go karaoke sometimes. I’m like putting this out in the universe that you and I will end up in a carrier. I know the sign of the words to all those songs.

Coco
Well, shameless. I’m totally shameless, as my family will tell you. I will sing in the grocery store aisles and anywhere really anywhere. And the part that makes it shameless is I don’t really have a great voice. I have an OK voice

Priscilla
sometimes. Okay, so Well, we share that in common. I definitely. I love to sing anywhere to what is your greatest fear

Coco
of being lonely? I’m I really am afraid of being lonely.

Priscilla
Okay, I honor that and I also I helped me understand that you’re afraid of being lonely. Does that mean like afraid of like ending up alone afraid of ever having the feeling of loneliness?

Coco
Well, it’s kind of you know, I have this image you know, like when my grandfather got Alzheimer’s and my and he ended up in in a assisted living space for a long time before he died and my grandmother then lived in the house. They’ve been together in since they were in their late teens, early 20s by herself for some time, which didn’t feel lonely to me and in that sense, because it was her house people were visiting her but then she lived into at least 90 I pet I think she was 91 When she died, but eventually she ended up in an assisted care place and I imagine her alone and waking up in the middle of the night, you know, four o’clock in the morning that you know that like the worst things happen in four o’clock in the morning in your own head at least in my experience. That whether or two or three or whatever the in the morning is but it’s like you wake up in the middle of the night and the worst things are going on in your head. And if you’re completely alone, then it’s so lonely. That’s just seems so terrifying to me that that idea. And yeah, and so I don’t I’m often alone. I’m often alone and it’s not like bad. It’s that idea of being alone with no choice like lonely Yeah, like if I walk by a house and I look in a window, which I know I’m supposed to do, but then I see like a person eating alone. It feels lonely. You know, like, what’s the story there? Is that person lonely? Are they all by themselves? You know, the idea of

Priscilla
I think we all think that and then there are you know, we’ll say Yeah, well I enjoy eating by myself sometimes. But yeah, I think we can all relate to that feeling of loneliness when I want to, I want to choose when I want to be alone and then have people there when I want them so I’m just interested. Do you wake your husband up a lot in like the middle of the night? Is he the person like you know when those forehand thoughts creep up? Are you like tapping on the shoulder like I need to talk?

Coco
I probably have I mean I know I have a couple of times in over the years, not often, but there’s been a couple of times like if I’m in a panic in my own head, and I can’t get out of it. Then I’ll do that. I may have even called Molina once. I don’t know if she’s in the kitchen right now. She can verify but I think I’ve called

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
they’re there if you need them, but there’s somebody there if you need it.

Coco Brown
Yeah, yeah, that you can just I know there’s people I can call. It’s not so much that it’s decided. I used to have I use before I had kids, my deepest fear was being that person on the street that has no one and is like, you know, I apparently it’s called Baglady syndrome. And I didn’t know a syndrome but like a psychologist told me that once and I just it just terrified of not being able to take care of myself, I guess was that and then the kids came along and all of a sudden it was like terrified of dying alone, being alone being lonely, like, I guess maybe on that level, it’s like failure, right? not succeeding.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Yeah, and not succeeding in your personal relationships to the point where people value their connection. And that’s a really big deal. Coco, I

Coco Brown
can you hear my my daughter making it and

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
I’m hoping that our editors can do wonders. Otherwise, there’s a lot of caveats in this where I want to add like a ping like to the podcast like, make it part of it somehow and Malia is making coffee in the back. Yeah,

Coco
don’t do podcasts when the painters are sanding, the trim and your daughter is making a espresso coffee a cup of tea not

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
hard to kind of play on. It’s just we’re doing the best we can so it’s okay.

Coco
She has tried to tell she’s trying to be very quiet.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl It’s okayMalia be in forgive you enjoy your coffee. Or I’ll go inside the closet carry out it’s better for recording anyway, I read glass recently posted himself in a closet recording.

Coco Brown
Oh really? I had no idea. Well, I am literally in the closet. I should just turn the light on because it’s pitch dark in here.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Live from in the closet. Please tell me about a life changing or life affirming moment.

Coco
so it requires a little bit of a lead in. i chi came along in 2001. And our plan as parents was that we were I was going to take a leave of absence you know for my maternity leave, and then I was going to go back to work for three months. And after that, and then Scott and I were going to take off in a Vanagon that we had bought and we were going to travel around the country with our bouncing little baby boy. And when I got back from my maternity leave the the two founders of the company, Taos essentially said Hey, welcome back, you know, I’m making a lot more work and Alexis, you know, I knew them but I didn’t know them well, and they had been essentially retired. We came out of retirement. We fired bill and we want you to be the CEO of the company and I was like, Well, you know, fire me and make Jim that give Jim that position because I’m leaving anyway. And that didn’t work out. So long story short, I became the third owner of the company and Scott stepped down from his job. He was running professional services for a company called the West Coast professional services for a company called aperture technologies. doing really well climbing the ladder, you know, he and I were sort of peers in the corporate world. And he he stepped down from running his job and became a stay at home dad. And what happens and this is usually the woman’s story. It’s not the guy story. But what happens is that very quickly, the person who stays home and with every passing year the person who stays home feels more and more like they’re no longer relevant in the corporate world. So even as the babies get out of diapers and they moved on to to preschool and now they’re, you know, half your day is back and then eventually your whole day is back. You don’t know how to go back to the corporate world even if you really want to. Plus you’re kind of like wow, I see it when my spouse is doing do I really want to go back to that. That sucks, right? Long hours and all of this and at the same time the person who’s at work particularly I think, if you’re a woman is in credibly jealous of the one who gets to stay home because you’re like, I want

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Amen. That’s my life right now. I hear you. I hear that.

Coco Brown
Right. And so, you know, so I desperately wanted what he had. He felt guilty for having what he had and you know, that I that that I was the one making all the big sacrifices, long hours and hard work and but at the same time, I I have an identity outside of the family and he has no identity you know, he kept failing all I am is your husbands and their father. And so, you know, he tried a number of different things and was quite well at some of them like real estate. Being a real estate professional. He got kind of into being a furniture maker. He’s an incredible furniture maker, but it never made any money. And you know, so So, fast forward 16 years later, you know, our kids are teenagers. And at that point, they’re 13 and 16. And I’ve been the breadwinner the entire time. Really. And, and the big issue, yes, imbalance in a relationship can destroy a relationship and I think it does. I think it destroys a lot of relationships. And so for the for the one person potentially, like my story was the pressure to be the breadwinner, the pressure to be the one who couldn’t fail. What is so intense, and then on the other hand, the the the negative feelings of being the one who isn’t providing and doesn’t have a separate identity is also really damaging. And so then, and then you’re jealous of each other and you resent each other and you want what the other has and you don’t want what you have that position that you have, you know whether you want what you have in a sort of like independence sense. You don’t want it in the context of the relationship. I have these to bear in you have those to bear, you know, and it’s not like it was in the 40s where it’s so it’s so much built into the culture where it’s like, well, mom’s job is this and dad’s job is that you know, it’s not like it was that but it also and it’s also more expensive, you know, you need more income and what single income is hard, and you know, all these things are very difficult. Anyway, so the moment so getting back to the moment, the moment that Scott got a job at Databricks, which is a unicorn company when I’m, you know, the top five in the world. That moment was so relieving for me and for him. You know, it was validating for him he’s back in the workforce. He’s back I mean, like, you know, he makes more money than I do now. That it’s balanced. You know, we’re back to balance we’re both have that career identity we both share in the the breadwinning for the family we both have equal opportunity to parents and and be with the kids and it’s it made all the difference in a relationship that literally was headed to divorce like it was destroyed.

Priscilla
I think that happens in in a lot of relationships. And especially with both people working and what’s going on now. It’s an important conversation to have, and it I think, I think it leads perfectly into or maybe, was that part of an inspiration and Athena like where’s Athena in this story?

Coco
Well, so, Bina in this story is in a way, well, okay, so so so part of it is that is that story that I just told you. I’m going to I’m going to give a little bit of a circle before I land
there’s other stories you know, there there’s there’s another just in a in a leaving you wanting more, maybe Malia got epilepsy when she was three and a half, three years old. And she was having 20 to 30 seizures a day. And there came a point where it got worse and worse and she ended up having grand mal seizures and long story short I in a split moment. I just said that’s it. I can’t. I’m cutting back to 60% of a normal work week, which I never worked immediately and if that means I am no longer the president CEO running this company, that’s what it means. But that happens tomorrow. And they’re, you know, there’s just all sorts of things that just happen in life that for me, I’m I’m, I’m somebody who wants to see the world operate the way I believe it should. I mean, I think a lot of us do, but I but I’m compelled to try to make it operate. The way I feel like it should. And, and certain things like the factory model of the way the world works, is just so outdated, you know, and it’s too easy. It’s too it’s too lazy. It doesn’t it doesn’t take in the complexity of the way life really works. Right. So from the beginning, so, so, you know, Athena exists because of a couple of things. One, it exists because there was a problem that I could solve, you know, I felt like solve and started with a dinner group I had. I had begun back in 2005. And just grew and grew and grew. And, you know, I was trying to create a safe environment to learn from other people like me. Which means, you know, women in tech at the time. But it also started in part because I wasn’t going to go work for someone else. I was going to create a company and so what company you know, became Athena, but it wasn’t there wasn’t a question. I was going to create something. And so it just happened to be Athena for the, you know, because that was that was the most compelling and is the most compelling. catalyst for me. But ultimately, what I’m building with Athena is not you know, ultimately, it’s not actually about women. It’s about transforming. The way we lead at the top the what is the top, you know, the how businesses function. The by way of example is for me, Athena was going to be digital from day one. This isn’t a COVID response. It was a from day one digital, we were never going to have an office and that was very awkward, and still is sometimes when it’s like, you know, the bank needs the office address, and I’m like, Well, that happens to be my home address. But why do I you know, so there’s things I fundamentally believe one of them was, if I eliminate the office, I eliminate some of the friction that gets in the way for people like me, which is a working mother, you know that that was my, you know, part of my motivation. I’m never going to miss a field trip. I’m going to volunteer in the classrooms I’m going to go to I’m going to drive the kids to school or pick them up. You know, three plus times a week. That was always something that I demanded. You know, it was part of the deal when I said okay, I’ll stay in Taos. But it became sort of part of the, you know, well the next go around, I’m going to have to build it myself because this is going to be part of the deal. You know, I don’t want to tell people when to work, tell people to take time off tend to tell people you know, what their workday is and what their homeless day is. And I just, and I don’t want people having to spend time in cars when they don’t, they shouldn’t have to and I don’t, you know, like I want them to be to have as much flexibility to integrate this very complicated world in the way they need to as possible
and work from anywhere because, you know, I’m a global Globetrotter myself, like I want to work from our place in Croatia. You know, so there are all sorts of things that we’re you know, Athena is about building the right company, for one thing. So aside from what we do entirely, like what I want to build as a company and a model for how companies ought to operate is is a big motivator for creating Athena in the first place. And then the what we do is a lot about ensuring that leaders can, can can keep up with the pace of business that everything is agile. Everything is moving really quickly. Business models are changing constantly go to market strategies are changing constantly. technology’s changing constantly. What’s expected in a leader constantly the relationship between business and society, etc, are constantly changing. And yet we still have these very antiquated ways of teaching people things that are that are, you know, case studies will take three years to get approved and then are outdated and academics who, you know, may be out of touch with what’s actually going on in the marketplace. And, you know, so I, I want to transform the way we learn and stay on top of things as business leaders, which isn’t just about women, but I think women are the ones to build that we have nothing to lose we’re not the entrenched power structure that is happy with the way things are. We’re the ones who want to see a different structure. So you know, starting with women makes a lot of sense.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
I love that. I love that the idea of what you think a company should look like. So I love that your story led you to see all the ways that a company doesn’t work. And that part of your inspiration was just give me make a company that works more and redesign not just what, what leadership looks like. But from a personal I lead this type of way, but also from a design model. Like you know, how I set up a company how I create the workflow just you know really scratch and designing your own model through and through and you have been a pioneer in that way with online before and before COVID happens and remote work. You have really pushed the envelope in those ways I can attest working for you, which is really exciting to watch and I think is one of the things that is so challenging about your style is that it requires ultimate flexibility. And changing and shifting and one of the like, I boasting I have 30 years of experience and like intact, right? That maybe means that probably means you know less than the people coming out right now and a lot of ways so it’s just what you’re saying. But I love that idea that you know there’s the mission for for that Athena has, but also the mission that you had for what accompany

Coco Brown
experience fire. Well, and I think you no I’m and I just I keep for me there’s like a week of dive into all sorts of aspects of that, you know, because I also i want to i i always think about Star Trek and you know the point at which we are one global society you know, and and we have to business is at the forefront of that business is not thinking about the the barriers between societies the way that countries do or cultures do but but so as a by way of example, let’s say I did take the American holidays, you know, and you lives in South Africa, you’re like, you know, that’s great, Martin Luther King Day and all but I’m in South Africa and my kid doesn’t have that off. I want this other day that my kid has off because if I’m going to take a holiday for me it’s it’s based on what is going on around me. But then likewise, you might go oh, well then let’s just do country by country. But what about if I’m an Asian Indian living in the United States and I want to celebrate Diwali, even though you know Diwali is only for the Indian dude. Like, why do we put these weird structures on things instead of just saying, Look, just take time off when you need to? Because that, you know, yes, we’re not all going to be taking the same exact day off. Sometimes miraculously might be but you know, we just need the world to be more and more flexible and adaptable and a morphus and which is really flies in the face of the definitive structures. We like to put around everything, particularly in business.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Everything, everything into a box. Yeah, I love it. The whole thread I’m hearing the story is balanced. And and I love that it’s about all the gray areas in between.

INSERT MUSIC VIBE CHECK (0-:20)

Priscilla
In addition to running Athena, Coco serves as Audit Chair for the board of Archerpoint, and as a member of the Nom/Gov committee. She was also reacelntly selected for the Nasdaq Center for Board Excellence Insights Council.

Coco if you weren’t building a running Athena, what would you be doing?

Coco Brown
Well, I have this reputation of just you know, and I I don’t know how to say it properly, but I I get involved very differently than a lot of people get involved. I don’t get involved by volunteering in structures that exist, sort of anti structure if you will. But I I get very involved when I see a need in front of me and largely those needs are driven by kids. So I’m, you know, my kids would tell you and their friends would tell you that I’m a second mom to a lot of people and I and I and not as a not as a competitive thing or as a you know, their first moms aren’t good enough. Not at all that it’s it’s more that like, I’m really really really curious about kids. I am in fact a kid like my, if my kids complained about me they would say that they’re more adult than I am and that there’s times when I should grow up a little bit but I i am i i want to see young people succeed and I there and maybe it’s because they they are already as structured and thrown into boxes as adults are but so I don’t know what it would be exactly but I would I’m always adopting a kid. And and I mean that in not the formal foster sense but I’ve, you know, fostered a kid for the last three years who’s lived with us and and I’m doing air quotes because it wasn’t formal. And with a very integrated relationship with his mom and and I, I’ve built I IEP programs with kids whose moms have asked me to help and step in because they they haven’t got beyond a seventh grade education themselves and they didn’t have the ability to advocate for their own kid. So I’m very much somebody who steps in on a very acute problem one problem at a time, you know, and so I I would be doing more of that would be finding more kids you know, more? I don’t know, is it Pied Piper? I don’t even know the story of the pied piper so I’m not sure. But I just think would be I would be just every single second that I had available. To me would be spent helping some kids who needed it.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
I’d say that that’s a great answer. I have a soft spot for children here too. It’s actually I think, one of the most shocking or like jarring things I’ll say culturally and gfdrr geographically is living in South Africa, as I see many, many children on the streets asking for food and money. You don’t often see that in the States. But I suppose to location here and there are quite young, like sometimes you’ll see a three year old in the middle of a busy intersection. And that’s like so sojourn is what you said to it’s part of that it’s it’s, it’s bigger than the the individual right? I mean, I feel like the best way sometimes that you can affect changes on the individual level but it’s it’s this idea of the sacredness of youth and children and dream and wanting to make space for that kind of stuff. That when you’re young, you don’t even have an opportunity to give some. Some children don’t have an opportunity really to children to be cared for, so it’s good. I

Coco Brown
think it’s I’ve seen a lot of that too, because I’ve been you know, I was born in Malaysia I traveled around India China, Tibet and my Anmar and, you know, I’ve I’ve been all over the world and also just even in my own backyard. You know, here in Silicon Valley, I live in an area that actually has a lot of poverty in it because it’s a lot of agriculture and migrant workers and, and, and the number of kids who go hungry. You know, it’s amazing the number of kids who go hungry and then and then the the school systems and how they’re designed to actually protect I think particularly public schools, in our country. They’re just not designed to help the kids who don’t have help around them. And it’s it’s just yeah, I can’t help but see it. I can’t help it see.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Well, I think what you’re doing even in the frame of building different models and opportunities for mothers who are working to have more flexibility that has a large impact on so even in the work that you’re doing now, even if not directly,It’s indirectly happening. I’m going to finish this call and immediately go what my name is. No, so Coco, is there anything else that you would like to share?

Coco
Um, I just love that you’re doing these. I think it’s absolutely fabulous. And I think you know, the more we can share our stories and the more we can see the depth in each of our our stories and the complexity. The you know, the ways in which we don’t fit in boxes, I think the better and the better and the better for society, like we just have to keep not allowing ourselves to fit in neat little story boxes, right? That is often what you see on Instagram, that’s not perfect. You know, everybody’s sharing their perfect Ness or Facebook or whatever, you know, it’s all your bio LinkedIn. It’s all your perfect moments. Everybody’s perfect moments, you know, your perfect ideas. Your perfect thought leadership, your your perfect promotion, your perfect anniversary. You know, like it’s just, life is not like that, and I think we we absolutely need to constructively share more with one another.

Priscilla Brenenstuhl
Helping make this dream of mine come true and for supporting in so many ways the self of the people, the women that make up our community, this is a celebration of those stories, and honoring of those stories. And like you said, the more that we share, the more that we see that, you know, leaders aren’t just infallible, different human beings with completely different backgrounds. And it makes that distance between who’s in charge or who’s running the show or how it’s being run and the people working for them. It closes that gap. And I think it creates more room for us to really redefine this model in a way that that has us all in mind and works for the greater good

Coco
Thank you for the same

INSERT MUSIC Heartland nights (:10-:26)

Priscilla
Thank you for listening. I am honored that you have shared your time with me. I invite you to join me next time where we meet with Digital Transformation Executive, Nadia Hansen, to explore some of her personal transformations including the story of how her family her family had to make the difficult descision to leave a life of affluence in a quest for freedom .
If you’re a member and you’d like to be featured on an episode of Voices of Athena, please reach out to me at [email protected]
Your story matters.

Want to be featured on Voices of Athena?

This podcast was created to unravel the stories behind the dynamic and inspiring women of Athena Alliance. If you’re a member and want to be featured, we’d love to hear from you. Your story matters.

Membership

Athena offers live and on-demand learning, coaching, networking, and access to career opportunities for the world’s top women leaders. Have a specific goal such as a board seat, promotion, or career transition? Accelerators provide targeted, one-on-one support to help you get there.

Business Services

Businesses of all sizes turn to Athena for support in developing their executives, diversifying their leadership, and transforming their board into a competitive advantage.

About Us

Athena activates the connections, knowledge, and opportunities executive leaders need to break through the barriers that line the “last mile” of their career – to the C-suite, boardroom, or the world of entrepreneurship and investing.

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